17 Shepherd Dog Breeds

Shepherd dogs, also known as herding dogs, are a type of working dog used primarily to herd livestock. There are several types of shepherd dogs, each classified on their abilities, size, shape, and demands of their work.

The German Shepherd is perhaps one of the most well-known breeds. Known for their intelligence and versatility, German Shepherds are often used in police and military roles, as well as being popular family pets.

The Australian Shepherd, despite its name, was developed in the United States. They are energetic and require plenty of physical and mental stimulation.

The Belgian Shepherd is also known as the Belgian Sheepdog. There are four varieties, each with different coat types: Groenendael, Tervuren, Malinois, and Laekenois.

Border Collies originated in the border countries of England and Scotland, and they are known for their extraordinary intelligence and agility.

Other shepherd breeds include the Shetland Sheepdog, Old English Sheepdog, and the Anatolian Shepherd. Each of these breeds has their unique traits that make them great working dogs and companion animals.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

*. Shepherd dogs have been companions throughout history .. They are trained to herd cattle and sheep, and they ensure that no animals are left behind.

Shepherds can also be used for tracking, courier work and sniffing because of their general intelligence and eagerness to please . Shepherd dogs have been a staple of many farms for years. Shepherd dogs are also very popular as pets. They are loyal to their families and intelligent.

There are many shepherd breeds around the globe. They come in all sizes and shapes. This article will list some of the most popular shepherd dog breeds. Each breed has been recognized by the American Kennel Club’s Herding Group. Continue reading to find out more about these intelligent, loyal dogs that are great companions at home and on the field.

Shepherd Dog Breeds

Australian Cattle Dog

Unlike the Aussie Shepherd, the Australian Cattle Dog was developed in Australia. They were originally bred for the purpose of herding sheep on large areas of land. When ranch owners and herders expanded westward from Sydney and needed a reliable herding companion who could manage miles upon miles of ranch land, the breed was born. Today, Australian Cattle Dogs are available in two colors: blue and red speckle.

“Blue Heelers are either blue or black, depending on the breed. Red dogs, however, have a red speckle from their Dalmatian genetics. The Australian Cattle Dog was also bred by other breeds like the wild Dingo and Collies of Scotland.

The Australian Cattle Dog appears highly adaptable and easy to rear . They are very adaptable to different climates and do not shed more than once or twice annually. They were designed to be able to roam large areas of land and are therefore unable to adapt to small living spaces. To stay happy, they need lots of exercise as well as mental stimulation. Australian Cattle Dogs are also not good with other animals, and can display aggressive tendencies.

German Shepherd

This breed is perhaps the most well-known shepherd breed. German Shepherds have a quick, athletic and intelligent personality. As their name suggests, German Shepherds were bred in Germany in the late 1800s by crossing various herding breeds. They were the most popular military breed in World War II. German Shepherds are used for a wide range of tasks, including seeing-eye work and K9 units.

German Shepherds typically stand at 26 inches at the shoulder and sport a double coat. German Shepherds have a brown and black coat, with darker colors at the muzzle and back. They can also have completely jet-black coats.

German Shepherds are intelligent and courageous. They are quick learners and eager to please their active owners. To prevent them becoming anxious and high-strung, these dogs need proper training from an early age . It involves exposing them and other animals to their protective instincts. They also need to be active and take daily walks in order to remain mentally and physically fit .. German Shepherds shed approximately twice per year, but they still need to be brushed a few times each week. German Shepherds that are well-bred don’t snore or drool and are less likely to dig up your yard.

Belgian Shepherd Dog

The Belgian Shepherd Dog may also be known as the Groenendael and the Belgian Sheepdog. There are four varieties of Belgian dogs that are named after four Belgian villages: Groenendael, Mechelar/Malinois, and Tervuren.

They were first bred in the 1880s when they were simply called Continental Shepherd Dogs. This medium-sized breed is ideal for the .damp environment of the Belgian Alps HTML1. They stand from 22 to 24 inches tall and typically have a rich, black coat. This double-layered coat is ideal for keeping out the cold and keeping your body warm.

Belgian Shepherds

love to be active and move. Because they are skilled at sniffing bombs and contraband ., they are often used in law enforcement and police. Belgian Shepherd Dogs should be left to the care of experienced dog owners who have years of experience with managing energetic dogs.

Belgian Shepherd Dogs can have a wide variety of temperaments. Each individual is different so prepared for any unexpected . The Belgian Shepherd’s protective instincts are innate and they will develop as they age.

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees, technically a livestock guard dog vs. herder, is a massive dog with an equally massive sense of duty. In the UK, they are known as Pyrenean Mountain dogs. This breed is a cross between the Pyrenees mountain bordering France, Spain and France. Their shaggy, white coat is ideal for keeping moisture out and cold out.

The Great Pyrenees dogs used to be considered dogs for peasants several centuries ago. However, in 1675, the court of King Louis XIV named the Great Pyrenees the Royal Dog of France. These large dogs were used as guard dogs by French nobles.

Great Pyrenees can be not suitable for novice dog trainers . Although they are calm and easygoing in safety, their large size and strength can make it difficult to discipline them. A Great Pyrenees, just like a German Shepherd needs to be socialized to learn how to distinguish between friend and foe. A Great Pyrenees can be the friendliest dog around if they are well socialized.

The Great Pythons require a special low-protein diet because they are susceptible . to obesity. Anyone who wishes to raise Great Pyrenees must be prepared for their loud barks and howls. Their calls can be heard far away as they are vocal and very vocal. It makes perfect sense, they were made for mountain life.

Belgian Malinois Dog

The Belgian Malinois is quickly becoming the favored breed for police and military jobs. They stand from 22 to 26 inches at the withers, with easy-to-manage coats. Their coats can be either brown or fawn with black markings on their ears and faces. Belgian Malinois have a reputation for being intelligent and eager to please. They have been used in special army units around the world.

They are often confused with the German Shepherd, but they can be differentiated by their paws, coat, and head. Malinois stand on their toes with brown coats and smaller triangular ears. German Shepherds, however, are flat-footed and have tan, black saddled coats with larger ears. They are both intelligent and temperamentally different.

*Belgian Malinois are a strong prey drive that chases smaller animals than themselves. This includes pets, pest animals, children, and wild squirrels. If these dogs are not socialized properly, they will have trouble getting along with other pets in your home. Belgian Malinois are highly energetic , and can be very sensitive and twitchy. They shouldn’t be left alone and are not well-suited to people who work long hours or travel.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is among the shortest of the herding breeds, standing only at 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder. These Corgis are also the ones that the British Royal Family swears to, as raises Welsh Corgis at Buckingham Palace.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgis are from Pembrokeshire in Wales. They were first believed that they came from fairy tales and elves .. These tiny herders are small and have short waterproof coats. They also have little legs, a nubbly tail, and a sense of humor.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis can be hardy and require only occasional brushing . Because of their curious nature and need to be at the forefront of everything, they are often found in strange places like behind couches and tables.

Because of their herding nature, they can chase and nip at children. Therefore, it is important to take precautions to prevent Pembroke Welsh Corgis exerting too much pressure upon children. They can also be very vocal Welsh Corgis bored. Corgis are also prone to back problems due to their body structure.

Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog is popularly known as the Sheltie. The Shetland Collie was its original name. Rough Collie breeders tried to change that name until it was officially changed. Shelties are a result of dogs that lived in the highlands between Norway and Scotland. They used to be called Toonies .

After some cross breeding, they were brought to Shetland Islands. Here, they were bred smaller and fluffier .. They were crossbred more and more until the original image of the Sheltie was lost to time by the end of the 19th Century. The first official Sheltie was registered by the American Kennel Club in 1911.

Shelties are friendly and get along with children , and the rest of their family. They excel in agility and competition obedience. They are a herding dog for sheep and will chase any bird or object that looks like them.

Shelties can also shed a lot, so potential Sheltie owner will need to get a very good vacuum. They can be left alone for a while, so long as they get lots of attention and cuddles when they are home.

Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Caucasian Shepherd Dogs, or Russian Bear Dogs, are massive, powerful dogs hailing from the Caucasus mountains, which is in Russia. This Russian dog breed is also called Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Mountain Dogs, and Russian Caucasian Ovcharka. They are large, muscular , with thick, fluffy hair that can be dyed in many colors.

This coat makes Caucasian Shepherd Dogs look larger than they are .. They are one of the oldest breeds and have been around for at least 2,000 years. New archaeological data suggests that the breed dates back to Mesopotamia.

The Caucasian Ovcharka courageous and .ferocious is best. Although they may not have as much energy than other shepherd dogs, they can still unleash their full potential if given the opportunity. Although they are very wary of strangers, they will be happy to interact with their family and friends. Caucasian Shepherd Dogs should not be left alone as they can become aggressive and guardive of children. They can be loving guardians and family pets if they are socialized and trained properly.

English Shepherd

The English Shepherd is a herding dog breed that, according to legend, dates back to the Roman Empire in 55 BC. This breed was first developed by dogs brought from the Roman Peninsula with Caesar’s troops to the British Isles. The Roman dogs were used during the invasions to keep the livestock under Roman command.

As the livestock declined, Roman dogs were interbred with British Isles natives to exemplify intelligence and agility . Immigrants from Britain brought the resulting breed to the New World. It is a well-known breed for its ability to catch rats and herd them, earning it a place on many farms.

The English Shepherd is friendly and a wonderful addition to any family. The English Shepherd can be bossy and act like the head dog if they are not socialized with people and pets. The English Shepherd can trust people who have proper socialization.

The English Shepherd needs to be walked every day and has a lot of yard space for running around. The English Shepherd is a more manageable breed than other herding dogs and requires only occasional brushing.

Border Collie

The Border Collie is widely considered the smartest dog breed in the world. The wise eyes of Border Collie owners are a source of pride for many Border Collie owners. The long-haired Border Collies have a black and white coat, but you can also see red, white and tricolor Border Collies. Border Collies are smaller dogs, standing at about 20 inches high. They have been herding sheep for about 300 years.

Some Border Collies also participated in historical trial which tested each dog’s ability. Each trial might require you to bring sheep to a certain point and then round them up in a pen. The Border Collie was finally registered as a breed within the American Kennel Club in 1995, making them one of the newer herding breeds registered.

Border Collies, like other intelligent breeds, require a reasonable level of exercise as well as mental stimulation. Border Collies are capable of handling children, but strangers should be aware that they may nip at your heels, much the same way they nip sheep’s heels. These dogs can be great companions if they are socialized from a young age.

Border Collies are also herding dogs that thrive with space , exercise and lots of exercise.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The existence of a second breed of Welsh Corgi is not something most people are aware of. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the older of the two Corgi breeds, also originating in Wales. The main distinction between the two Corgi types is the tail . Cardigans have long, wavy tails while Pembrokes have shorter, more nubby ones.

Cardigans can also be found with coats in different colors such as red, black and sable. They are believed to have come from the same breeds that gave rise to Basset Hounds and Dachshunds. The earliest ancestor of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi was believed to have arrived in Wales more than 2,000 years ago, far before the time of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Just like the Pembrokes, Cardigan Welsh Corgis are also prone to back injuries and disorders, so special care and vet visits must be made to avoid health complications. Cardigan Welsh Corgis may not be as friendly as the Pembrokes but can still be as friendly if given time and patience. They are not as well-suited for outdoor use as the Pembrokes, but they do have waterproof coats.

Spanish Water Dog

The Spanish Water Dog is a woolly, intelligent, and even-tempered dog who feels most at home working with humans. Spanish Water Dogs are distinguished by their curly woolly fur HTML1. These curly fur strands wrap around each other and become cords. Farmers used to shear their sheep while shearing their dogs back in the day.

Their origins are a little ambiguous, with many theories claiming they originated in Turkey or Northern Africa. They have been successful within the Iberian Peninsula as waterfowl retrievers and sheepherders. Spanish Water Dogs now find their way to the police and disaster rescue .

The Spanish Water Dog is a great family pet. These dogs are intelligent, eager to please , and have good hunting and guardian instincts. To keep Spanish Water Dogs from becoming territorial and overprotective, one must be at the top of the pack hierarchy.

The Spanish Water Dog must not be combed , because brushing could cause curling and pain. You should use conditioner and gentle shampoo when bathing. Fortunately, this breed never really sheds, which makes them one of a few hypoallergenic dog breeds.


The Beauceron is a tall, rugged dog, standing at 27 inches at the withers. Their name is from the Beauce area of France . Beaucerons don’t hail from Beauce. They hail instead from the province, Brie. Bas-Rouge is their name for “red stockings .”

“, which refers to their black double coats and red feet.

They were originally developed as hunting dogs in the 1500s but were soon bred for herding work. The Beauceron, unlike many French shepherd breeds has an additional dewclaw on each side. They are calm, energetic, and protective of their families.

The Beauceron is a strong-willed breed that almost bows to its master. This breed is not recommended for novice dog owners ! They must be socialized early in their lives, as is the case with all dogs. They will be able to take their place in the pack hierarchy and stop them from feeling the need to be the Alpha. *)If they are not properly trained, they could assert their dominance over the children of the household, which can cause stress for both the dogs and the children. They also need at least 40 minutes to two hours of exercise daily, as well as a wide yard or farmland for them to run around in.

Berger Picard

This breed’s name is pronounced ber-zhey pi-car. In the Northern Hemisphere, Berger Picards are best-known thanks to the 2005 film Because of Winn-Dixie, where the titular dog was played by a Berger Picard. Another old breed, they hail from Picardy, Northern France. Many believe the Berger Picard, a French herding dog breed, has been around since the Middle Ages.

They were officially recognized in France in the 1960s and were registered by the American Kennel Club in 2015. Berger Picards can be described as a medium-sized breed. They have a thick, rough, and strong coat. It may come in red or blue, grey, or even fawn. Their long tail ends in a slight curve and their ears are tall and erect.

*Berger Picards are often skittish and can easily become overwhelmed. To ensure a happy and healthy Berger Picard, it is important to have a steady hand, socialization and positive reinforcement. If there are other dogs in their household, they will need to be taken , for daily walks.

Berger Picards are sensitive to harsh voices so it is essential to be kind, consistent and firm when they learn. As long as they get enough exercise, they can adapt to small apartments. They are also quiet dogs so they don’t wake up neighbors who are grumpy in the middle of night.


To most people, the Puli dog may resemble a friendly, four-legged mop. The Puli is an old Hungarian breed related to the Tibetan Terrier, first brought to Hungary in 900 CE. The Puli has a curly coat that grows in tightly wound cords, much like the Spanish Water Dog. No matter what color the Puli’s coat is, its skin is fully pigmented with blue or black. Because they were raised to be companions in high-altitude hill ranches, the Puli tends to stick to one person.

Puli (plural of Puli), are intelligent ; and sometimes a little too intelligent for their own good. Pulis are known to “circle their flock”, chasing away any who wander too far. They will always return to their owners whether they are investigating something or just going for a walk.

Due to the denseness of their corded coats, Pulik tend to heat

when the temperature is too high. If they’re going to swim, it is important that they be watched as the cords can cause a swimmer to become tired. Although their thick coat can be a challenge to groom, Pulik are incredibly agile and acrobatic, and they love to run in open spaces.

Finnish Lapphund

Their name says it all; the Finnish Lapphund hails from Finland, with the Saami people, far north in Lapland. They were bred to avoid the lanky reindeer legs .horns. Finnish Lapphunds were almost extinct before World War II but a group of enthusiasts saved them.

They are very agile and can walk from a halt to full sprint in a matter of seconds. Finnish Lapphunds are equipped with coarse, long topcoats as well as fluffy undercoats to keep them warm. You can find them in a variety of colors from white to red, brown to black. *Finnish Lapphunds are affectionate and good with children, but are wary of strangers. However, they are not guard dogs they will bark at strangers but not attack. Finnish Lapphunds need to be exercised every day like all herding breeds. They can be anxious and destructive if left alone.

They also have a strong “startle”, which they developed by dodging reindeer. A good owner keeps them away from loud noises and other dangerous situations. As long as one can handle the shedding and the barking, Finnish Lapphunds make great additions to a close-knit family.

Bouvier des Flandres

The Bouvier des Flandres is a smart, burly, barrel-chested dog bred to keep up with heavy-duty farm work. This breed is from Flanders in Belgium, also known by the Flemish region. Their name is “cowherder from Flanders”, which accurately describes their normal line of work up at the heights in Belgium.

They can grow up to 27 inches tall and weigh 95 pounds. They have a rough exterior coat and a thick undercoat that can withstand the harsh Belgian winters. They were used to pull carts and herd cattle. Bouviers des Flandres were also sentries and messenger dogs in World Wars II and III.

Bouviers des Flandres rarely bark and have an generally calm demean or. They may be more inclined to herd than they should, however, being herding dogs. If they don’t have enough activities, they might start to nip at joggers and bikers.

Bouviers can learn quickly under the guidance of an experienced dog owner, or a professional trainer. They also learn how to walk on a leash quickly. Bouviers have a reputation for picking up dirt and other plant material from their coats. They often track dirt around the house. Although this can be reduced by frequent bathing, the dirt is not easily removed.

Final Thoughts

While many dogs are capable of shepherding a flock of animals, only a few are genetically predisposed to do so. Any of the Shepherd-type breeds that we have covered can be used to keep your farm animals safe and contained, whether you own a small farm or homestead.

Do not forget that all shepherd breeds come in different sizes . Every breed is different in temperament and each pup will be unique. It is important to learn about each breed so that you are prepared for the challenges each dog will face. A healthy appreciation for the unknown is essential. Every dog is unique, so an experienced owner will be able to adapt to each breed.

Related Posts

Scroll to Top